ASME serves the international mechanical engineering community and society at large in several ways, including the publication of technical journals that present the results of current engineering and scientific research and practice. Fundamental to that service is the responsibility of editors, authors, and reviewers to maintain high ethical standards relating to the submittal, review, and publication of manuscripts. These ethical standards derive from ASME's definition of the scope of the journal and from the community's perception of standards of quality for engineering and scientific work, and its presentation. The ethical standards that follow reflect a conviction that the observance of high ethical standards is so vital to the entire engineering and scientific enterprise that a definition of those standards should be brought to the attention of all concerned.
These ethical standards have been to a large extent compiled from the existing standards of The American Chemical Society and ASME acknowledges its appreciation to ACS for granting permission to quote from the ACS Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research, (Chem. Rev. 1995, 95, pp. 11A-13A. Copyright 1985, 1989, 1995, American Chemical Society). Acknowledgment is also given to ASCE and AGU for drawing on their guidelines in the development of this document.
Ethical Obligations of Authors
- An author's central obligation is to present a concise and accurate account of the research, work, or project completed, together with an objective discussion of its significance.
- A submitted manuscript shall contain detail and reference to public sources of information sufficient to permit the author's peers to repeat the work or otherwise verify its accuracy.
- An author shall cite and give appropriate attribution to those publications influential in determining the nature of the reported work sufficient to guide the reader quickly to earlier work essential to an understanding of the present work. Information obtained by an author privately, from conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, shall not be used or reported in the author's work without explicit permission from the persons from whom the information was obtained. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, shall be treated in the same confidential manner.
- The submitted manuscript shall not contain plagiarized material or falsified research data. ASME defines plagiarism as the use or presentation of the ideas or words of another person from an existing source without appropriate acknowledgment to that source. ASME views any similar misappropriation of intellectual property, which may include data or interpretation, as plagiarism. [This definition is based on one used by the National Academy of Science, National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. ASCE added the sentence on misappropriation of intellectual property.]
- Fragmentation of research papers shall be avoided. An engineer or scientist who has done extensive work on a system or group of related systems shall organize publication so that each paper gives a complete account of a particular aspect of the general study.
- In submitting a manuscript for publication, an author should inform the editor of related manuscripts that the author has under editorial consideration or in press. Copies of these manuscripts should be supplied to the editor, and the relationships of such manuscripts to the one submitted should be indicated.
- It is unethical for an author to submit for review more than one paper describing essentially the same research or project to more than one journal of primary publication.
- Scholarly criticism of a published paper may be justified; however, in no case is personal criticism considered appropriate.
- To protect the integrity of authorship, only persons who have significantly contributed to the research or project and manuscript preparation shall be listed as co-authors. The corresponding author attests to the fact that any others named as co-authors have seen the final version of the manuscript and have agreed to its submission for publication. Deceased persons who meet the criterion for co-authorship shall be included, with a footnote reporting date of death. No fictitious name shall be given as an author or co-author. An author who submits a manuscript for publication accepts responsibility for having properly included all, and only, qualified co-authors.
- It is inappropriate to submit manuscripts with an obvious commercial intent.
- It is inappropriate for an author either to write or co-author a discussion of his or her own manuscript; except in the case of a rebuttal or closure to criticism or discussion offered by others.
- An author should make no changes to a paper after it has been accepted. If there is a compelling reason for any changes, the author must inform the editor. Only the editor has the authority to approve such changes.
- The authors should reveal to the editor any potential conflict of interest, e.g., a consulting or financial interest in a company that might be affected by publication of the results contained in a manuscript. The authors should ensure that no contractual relations or proprietary considerations exist that would affect the publication of information in a submitted manuscript.
Ethical Obligations of Reviewers
- Because qualified manuscript review is essential to the publication process, all engineers and scientists have an obligation to do their fair share of reviews.
- If a reviewer feels inadequately qualified or lacks the time to fairly judge the work reported, the reviewer shall return the manuscript promptly to the appropriate conference organizer.
- A reviewer shall objectively judge the quality of a manuscript on its own merit and shall respect the intellectual independence of the author(s). Personal criticism is never appropriate.
- A reviewer shall avoid conflicts of interest and/or the appearance thereof. If a manuscript submitted for review presents a potential conflict of interest or the reviewer has a personal bias, the reviewer shall return the manuscript promptly without review, and so advise the appropriate conference organizer.
- A reviewer should not evaluate a manuscript authored or co-authored by a person with whom the reviewer has a personal or professional connection if the relationship would bias judgment of the manuscript.
- A reviewer should treat a manuscript sent for review as a confidential document. It should neither be shown to nor discussed with others except, in special cases, to persons from whom specific advice may be sought. In that event, the identities of such persons should be disclosed to the appropriate conference organizer.
- Reviewers shall explain and support their judgments adequately so that editors and authors may understand the basis of their comments. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. Negative judgments, in particular, should receive a clear, complete, and cogent explanation from the reviewer.
- A reviewer shall call any substantial similarity between the manuscript under consideration and any published manuscript or any manuscript submitted concurrently to another publication to the attention of the appropriate conference organizer.
- Unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations contained in a submitted manuscript are confidential and shall not be used in the research of a reviewer, or otherwise disseminated except with the consent of the author and with appropriate attribution.
- If a reviewer has convincing evidence that a manuscript contains plagiarized material or falsified research data, or evidence of simultaneous submission, the reviewer shall notify the appropriate conference organizer, who will determine the final disposition of the matter.
Ethical Obligations of Conference Organizers
- The primary responsibility of a conference organizer is to ensure an efficient, fair, and timely review process of papers submitted for publication, and to establish and maintain high standards of technical and professional quality. Criteria of quality are: originality of approach; clarity and conciseness; concept and/or application; profundity; and relevance to the mechanical engineering profession.
- A conference organizer should give unbiased consideration to all papers offered for publication, judging each on its merits without regard to race, religion, ethnic origin, gender, seniority, citizenship, professional association, institutional affiliation, professional association, or political philosophy of the author(s). An organizer may, however, take into account relationships of a manuscript immediately under consideration to others previously or concurrently offered by the same author(s).
- The sole responsibility for acceptance or rejection of a paper rests with the appropriate conference organizer. Responsible and prudent exercise of this duty normally requires that the organizer seek advice from reviewers, who are chosen for their expertise and good judgment, to referee the quality and reliability of papers. However, papers may be rejected without review if considered inappropriate for the conference.
- The organizers shall disclose no information about a paper under consideration to anyone other than those from whom professional advice regarding the publication is sought.
- An organizer should consider papers submitted for publication with all reasonable speed. Authors should be periodically informed of the status of the review process.
- An organizer who authors or co-authors a paper submitted for consideration in the conference proceedings with which that organizer is affiliated, shall not review that work.
- Organizers should avoid situations of real or perceived conflicts of interest. Such conflicts include, but are not limited to, handling papers from present and former students, from colleagues with whom the editor has recently collaborated, and from those in the same institution.
- A conference organizer should respect the intellectual independence of authors.
- Unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations contained in a submitted papers are confidential and shall not be used in the research of any conference organizer or otherwise disseminated except with the consent of the author (s) and with appropriate attribution.
- If an organizer is presented with convincing evidence that the substance, conclusions, references or other material included in a published paper are erroneous, the organizer, after notifying the author(s) and allowing them to respond in writing, shall facilitate publication of an errata with the ASME publishing staff. If possible, this shall also include publication of appropriate comments and/or papers identifying those errors.
- Conference Organizers should be alert to possible cases of plagiarism, duplication of previous published work, falsified data, misappropriation of intellectual property, duplicate submission of papers, inappropriate attribution, or incorrect co-author listing. The organizer may deal directly with such ethical lapses, or, if deemed necessary, may forward them to the ASME Publishing Department.
These ethical standards for have been to a large extent compiled from the existing standards of The American Chemical Society and ASME acknowledges its appreciation to ACS for granting permission to quote from the ACS Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research, (Chem. Rev. 1995, 95, pp. 11A-13A. Copyright 1985, 1989, 1995, American Chemical Society). Acknowledgment is also given to ASCE and AGU for drawing on their guidelines in the development of this document. As recommended by the Board of Editors and adopted by the ASME Publications Committee, November 1999.